A number of Bay of Plenty and Lakes district pharmacies are officially offering free measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines.

Toi Te Ora Public Health announced today that 19 pharmacies across the region would be offering the immunisation free-of-charge to people aged 16 to 49.

Although the number of confirmed cases of measles across the Bay of Plenty region saw a significant drop last month, Toi Te Ora warned the risk was still high.

Medical officer of health for Toi Te Ora Public Health Dr Jim Miller said it was important to keep preventative efforts up to avoid further outbreaks.

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"It is great to see some of our pharmacies now being able to give MMR. Any way we can make immunisation more available and convenient is really important, particularly at the moment", he said.

The last confirmed case of measles in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts was on December 31.

During 2019, there were 75 confirmed cases of measles in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes district. Of these, 25 had a hospital admission.

The pharmacies offering the vaccine:

Western Bay of Plenty

· Unichem Cherrywood

· Unichem Mount Dispensary

· Unichem Excelsa, Papamoa

· Unichem Greerton

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· Unichem Brookfield

· Unichem Metro, Bethlehem

· Unichem Faulkners, Tauranga

· My Pharmacy Papamoa

· My Pharmacy Te Puke

· Life Pharmacy Te Puke

· Life Pharmacy Bayfair

· Countdown Bayfair

· Countdown Fraser Cove

· Pharmacy on Cameron, Tauranga

· Waugh's Pharmacy, Welcome Bay

Whakatāne

· Total Health Chemist, Whakatāne

Rotorua

· Central Pharmacy, Rotorua

· Life Pharmacy Rotorua

Taupō

· Unichem Mainstreet Pharmacy, Taupō

MMR immunisation is also available from the family doctor or practice nurse.